Coronavirus Outbreak: India gears up to switch off lights at 9pm after PM Narendra Modi's appeal

Updated: 05 April, 2020 11:12 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Turn off all the lights in your homes, stand at your doors and balconies and light candles, diyas or mobile flashlights for nine minutes, PM Modi said in his appeal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: AFP)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: AFP)

India will turn off the lights for nine minutes at 9pm on Sunday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on Friday and appealed to unite to "fight the darkness of the coronavoris pandemic".

Speaking to the citizens via video conference, Modi said, "On April 5, Sunday, at 9pm, I want 9 minutes from all of you. Turn off all the lights in your homes, stand at your doors and balconies and light candles, diyas or mobile flashlights for nine minutes."

So far, the number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in the country have reached 3,374, while the death toll rose to 77, according to Union Health Ministry data.

While the number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 3,030, as many as 266 people were either cured of the disease and discharged, and one had migrated, it said.

Meanwhile, state electricity boards urged people to ensure that they only switch off lights and keep other appliances like AC, cooler, fan, refrigerators on while following PM Modi's appeal.

On Thursday, several opposition leaders raised concern over how the government was handling the situation. "India is simply not testing enough to fight the #Covid19 virus. Making people clap & shining torches in the sky isn't going to solve the problem," Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra also spoke out. 

However, a lot of politicians and Bollywood personalities came ahead in support of PM Modi's initiative.

This comes after millions across the country followed PM Modi's 14-hour Janata Curfew two weeks ago.

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First Published: 05 April, 2020 10:49 IST

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